18 March 2020. What a remarkable date. That was when our life changed. Little did we expect that we will be staying at home for a very, very long time.
Little did we expect, that our classes will be online for more than a year, our midterm, tests, quizzes (this is not so bad), and final exams are just going to be ourselves and laptops. No more noisy study groups, late-night study at the campus, the hype and nervousness of presentations, and just the joy of being in the class with your friends.
Months have passed, and now we have reached our second Ramadan in this pandemic. As stated by the officials, it might not be as strict as our last one, yet it is not like what we were used to before. However, some things we need to be clear about this month first.
Ramadhan; what goes through our head hearing that word? Is it just bazaars, different meal prep for 30 days, a booster for our diet program, or just a passing month for the actual fun (Raya) to come?
Certainly, Ramadhn is way more than that. When the verse of Ramadan was sent down, the prophet and companions at that time were re-introduced to the Quran (2:185). Even though they were in Madinah, and they were already reading most of the Quran, Allah chose this month to remind them what is their purpose in this world.
What are they supposed to be aiming at, what message should they convey and what should they carry on their shoulders all the time. This month, Ramadan is not just a worshipping month, not just a food-festive month, but it's also a month of finding your purpose.
It is a month of redemption. A month that we get to see ourselves inside out, and make changes where necessary. A month where we contemplate the holy book, the same book that was conveyed and read by the prophet and companions.
And look where that got them. Look how they were successful. Look at how they were balanced out in religion and worldly affairs, rich in their possession and also in their deeds, and eternally happy.
As a practical approach to be better this Ramadan, let us divide doing good into two categories; good to ourselves and good to others. What areas in our lives that we can improve? Be it in regards to worship deeds, our academic performance, our health and hygiene, the relationship we have with our parents, families, and not to forget our peers and friends.
Detect what we lack, and make a plan on how do we improve it. Be ambitious, but also realistic with our goals. Aim to improve 1% every single day, and look at the result at the end of Ramadan.
Second, be good to others. What little can we do to improve what is around us. Seek to volunteer at our local masjid or in any community service program, give gifts to our beloved ones, or maybe order Grabfood for our friends to break their fast.
Ramadhan is known as a month of giving and being grateful. Show our gratefulness to Allah by helping others, giving food for iftar, and show kindness to the poor.
May Allah grant us the ability to do good this Ramadan. May we ourselves become a better person throughout and after this month. May Allah shower us with countless blessings and grant us His forgiveness in this month. May this Ramadan is better than the previous ones.
Muhammad Saiful Hadi
Student of Bachelor in Accounting
UniKL Business School